Health Equality Funding

The Northamptonshire Integrated Care System has received a Grant from the Lottery Community Fund which amounts to 448K over the next three-year period. The Grant must be used to embed the VCSE into the Integrated Care System. Voluntary Impact Northamptonshire is the Grant holder, but to ensure the maximum and effective use of this funding an Oversight Group has been established which consists of a range of Statutory and VCSE Partners. Health Equality Funding seeks to develop systems and solutions to enable effective partnership working between sectors and the delivery of measurable reduction of health inequalities for local communities.

Partners involved in the application process were:

  • VCSE Assembly Thematic Leads.
  • Collaborative Leads (Elective Care, CYP, Aging Well, Mental health).
  • Directors of Place (North and West Northants).
  • Northants Health Inequalities Lead (Public Health).
  • Primary Care representatives (North and West Northants).
  • The VCSE Assembly Independent Chair.
  • VIN CEO or Development Manager (As Grant holders).

As Grant holders VIN will maintain responsibility for the financial, project management and reporting aspects of the grant. In some cases, VIN will need to make difficult decisions as the grant holder and will take a steer from the Oversight Group before deciding on a relevant course of action.


The submission was structured into 4 priority areas as set out below:

  1. Structure, systems, and processes.
  2. People and collaboration.
  3. Pilot projects to test, learn and gather information.
  4. Improving capacity and capability for involvement.


An Alliances Manager is central to the successful delivery of the projects and its outcomes, and their main role is to:

  • Be a central point of contact for all in the delivery of the project.
  • Take a lead in forming the structure, systems, and processes for VCSE and community involvement within the defined ICS structure in the North and West of the County.
  • To engage with key stakeholders by facilitating network meetings training and events.
  • To work closely with both Directors of Place (North and West).
  • To engage across the sector.

The VCSE Assembly will remain the main construct for collaboration, voice, and representation of the VCSE sector, but it is recognised that other engagement opportunities through adapted models or frameworks will be available, and these should be utilised where they exist.

What does Year 1 look like?

The activities below are those scheduled for Year 1 of the Grant and should be divided equally between West and North Northamptonshire.




Strategic Network meetings






Backfill/ bursary scheme

People and collaboration

A forum where partners from across sectors can come together and get to know each other better, discuss systems, barriers, development, and impact in a targeted way. Building understanding and developing new ways of working.

Improving capacity and capability for involvement

To ensure that capacity to attend is not a barrier, especially for smaller organisations.


Information portal – website




Improving capacity and capability for involvement

A mechanism for informing the VCSE and wider partners about every aspect of the ICS and Connect Northamptonshire.


Neighbourhood planning toolkit

People and collaboration

To facilitate structure, representation, and voice of communities in the development of Local Area Panels.


Coaching and training programme for community

People and collaboration

To support people that would like to participate at a neighbourhood panel, so they have the confidence, skills and capability to carry out the role effectively.


Leadership training programme

Improving capacity and capability for involvement

To support new and emerging leaders, harnessing fresh ideas and ways of working.


Representative  Training

Improving capacity and capability for involvement

Supporting those with a representative role within the ICS structure.


Pilot projects

Test and Learn

Projects should test new approaches, reach out to hard-to-reach groups, add value to local delivery, and fill a gap in local need.


Neighbourhood commissioning events

Structure, systems, and processes

To build relationships; Commissioning and co-production of services at a local level are a key element of the vision of integrated care.


How does my organisation participate?

Not every organisation can sit at the representative structures of the ICS. Not every VCSE organisation would want to: The role of the Oversight Group is to ensure that the correct voices are heard to advance the cause of the VCSE and local communities within this new framework.

The Alliances Manager and the Oversight Group will have a role to process information and ensure connectivity. The VCSE ICS Portal is one method of achieving this and you should check back regularly for updates and developments.